A claim for personal injury need not be wholly concerned with injuries solely caused by the accident. There may be an underlying condition which has been aggravated as a result of an incident. In this case, there is still an entitlement to compensation – the pre-existing injury may have never reached the extent it did without the extra push that an unfortunate fall can provide. This type of personal injury claim is perfectly represented in a recent case in which one of our clients was awarded £13,000 for the aggravation of an existing wrist condition.

In this particular case, our client was delivering stock for his employers to another company in Sheffield. Whilst carrying a heavy load, he slipped on food which had been dropped on to the floor. Stretching his hand out to break his fall, our client landed heavily and injured his wrist. After reporting this accident, it was later found that the staff on site at the time were aware of the slip hazard and yet neglected to clean the floor until after our client had fallen.

Aggravating a pre-existing condition

The injured wrist was one which had caused problems before, as the client had already had a procedure on it some years earlier. Naturally, the accident did nothing to improve the wrist and the pain steadily got worse to the point that our client had to turn to surgery. A wrist fusion procedure had to be performed, which helped with the pain but greatly restricted movement in the joint. In the weeks after the surgery had taken place, our client was heavily reliant on his family to help him with household tasks that had become much more difficult for him and he was also unable to work.

We arranged for the client to be seen by a medical expert, whose opinion was that the damage done to the client’s wrist by the fall accelerated the need for surgery by around 5 years. As the client had therefore lost 5 years’ worth of unrestricted use of the joint, we negotiated with the insurers of the company he’d been delivering to and secured for him a payout of £13,000. As this case demonstrates, don’t think that you can’t claim for personal injury simply because you have a pre-existing condition. If that condition has gotten noticeably worse and your accident is proven to be responsible, your entitlement to compensation is the same as everybody else’s.